Gangtok: The majority of Sikkim is currently grappling with an exceptionally hot summer that has persisted for the past few weeks, while certain districts, including Gangtok, Pakyong, and Namchi, have experienced a heat wave on specific dates.
The plain areas of neighboring North Bengal have witnessed temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius since last Monday. In comparison, the hilly towns of Sikkim have recorded relatively lower daytime temperatures ranging between 25 to 31 degrees Celsius, yet still significantly higher than previous summers.
On May 31, Gangtok reached a maximum temperature of 26.1 degrees Celsius, marking the highest seasonal temperature (March to May) ever recorded in the state capital since 2000.
Simultaneously, Tadong, situated at a lower elevation than the main Gangtok town, experienced a maximum temperature of 31.8 degrees Celsius on the same day, making it the third highest maximum temperature recorded in May.
In the neighboring regions of North Bengal, heat wave conditions have prevailed for the past week. Similarly, isolated areas of Sikkim have also witnessed heat waves since last Monday.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an advisory on Sunday morning, cautioning that heat waves are likely to occur in one or two places in the districts of Gangtok, Pakyong, and Namchi within the next 24 hours.
This is the first time that Namchi and Gangtok districts have received a heat wave cautionary notice.
Currently, no weather disturbances are affecting Sikkim and North Bengal. Consequently, there are minimal low clouds in the region, resulting in clear skies during the daytime and a rise in temperature.
Meanwhile, the IMD has forecasted light to moderate rainfall in a few places across Sikkim and isolated areas of North Bengal over the next 3-4 days.
From next Tuesday, both the intensity and spatial distribution of rainfall are expected to increase, particularly in Sikkim. However, hot and uncomfortable weather is likely to persist in most areas of North Bengal and Sikkim.
Experts attribute the unusual hot spell to various climatic factors. Dr. Rajesh Chauhan, a meteorologist from the Himalayan Weather Research and Forecasting Centre, explains, “The presence of dry winds blowing from the plains, coupled with clear skies, has led to the accumulation of heat. Additionally, the absence of significant rainfall and low cloud cover has contributed to the prevailing heat wave conditions.”
He further emphasizes that this phenomenon aligns with the global trend of rising temperatures and extreme weather events, urging caution and the adoption of appropriate measures to mitigate the effects of heat waves.
The local administration has advised residents to stay hydrated, avoid direct exposure to sunlight during peak hours, and take necessary precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses.
As Sikkim and North Bengal brace for the anticipated increase in rainfall, people are hopeful that the forthcoming showers will bring relief from the scorching heat and alleviate the discomfort caused by the prolonged hot weather.
Overall, the region continues to monitor and adapt to the ongoing heat wave, while keeping an eye on the evolving weather patterns in the coming days.
Disclaimer: This article is based on factual information and expert statements. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the publication or its affiliates.
Also Read: Heat Wave Alert in Sikkim & East India: IMD
Gangtokian Web Team, 06/06/23